The Florida Bar

Process for Filing Amicus Curiae Briefs, Responses and Comments in Rules Proceedings, and Other Filings

This process map has been adapted from the 800 and 900 series of the Bar’s standing board policies to guide groups through these processes.

Determine Eligibility

Voluntary Florida Bar Bar Groups

Voluntary Florida Bar groups may adopt a position and submit an amicus curiae brief, or join another group’s brief, in pending litigation; may adopt a position and respond to a petition to amend any portion of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, Florida Rules of Court, or Florida Code and Rules of Evidence; may file comments to rules petitions; may join other groups’ comments to rules petitions; and may file other documents, only when the issue is:

  • is within the group’s subject matter jurisdiction;
  • is beyond the scope of the bar’s permissible legislative or political activity, or is within the bar’s permissible scope of legislative or political activity and consistent with an official bar position on the issue; and
  • does not have the potential for deep philosophical or emotional division among a substantial segment of bar membership.

For filings that meet the definition of political activity under policy 9.11, groups must follow the process under policy 9.50. See Legislative/Political Activity Process for Sections.

Submit Notice and Draft Filing

The group must provide a notice and draft of the document to be filed to the ED at least 10 days before filing.

The notice may be an email but must contain the following information:

  • Nature of the litigation, including identification of any other parties and amici and their positions;
  • Position sought to be taken in the filing;
  • Anticipated effect of litigation and final decision;
  • Need for the group to take the proposed position (for responses and comments filed in rules cases, the group must also address the absence or existence of conflict with any previous position adopted by the bar or any other bar group, and whether the other bar group has been contacted about its position); and
  • Absence or existence of conflict with any previous position adopted by the bar or any group and whether such group has been contacted about its position.

The document to be filed must clearly state that it expresses a position of the group and not the bar, unless the board or EC directs otherwise. A sample statement is:

“This _____ is submitted on behalf of the ______ Section only, and does not express any position of The Florida Bar.”

The ED will provide the notice and draft to the bar president for review and action or a determination to take no action.

The group may request a waiver of the 10-day and draft requirements. Only the president may grant the waiver.

Allow Time for Review Process

  • The OGC verifies the notice contains the required information; may ask for additional information (lower court opinion, cases, etc.).
  • The OGC provides the completed packet — notice, draft filing, additional documents, if any — to the ED.
  • The ED distributes the packet and vote sheet to the Bar president for review and action.
  • The ED or OGC follows up with the group regarding any decisions.

Important Considerations

The board or executive committee must expressly determine to take no action regarding the proposed filing by the group. Alternatively, the board or executive committee may determine that the voluntary or mandatory Florida Bar group proposed filing does not meet these requirements.

Filing Changes or Additional Filings

Each group must resubmit the notice and draft with any relevant update if there is a material change in the procedural or substantive posture of the litigation, or in the substance of the proposed brief, after providing the initial notice to the executive director. If a group proposes to make later additional filings in the litigation, the group must provide notice and a draft of those filings to the executive director at least 10 days before filing.